How Does Water Pollution Affect People?

The most common effect of water pollution on human beings is disease. Drinking water contaminated by disease-carrying micro-organisms, also known as pathogens, cause various waterborne diseases, such as typhoid, dysentery, hepatitis and cholera.

Chemical pollutants, industrial waste deposits and toxic wastes can cause long-term health problems to humans, especially when they contaminate fish. Aquatic organisms, such as fish, may accidentally consume toxic substances, which is how the toxins get transferred into the human body.

Health conditions that may result from drinking water laced with chemicals or toxic wastes include organ failure, physical deformities and even death.

The presence of Escherichia coli bacteria, commonly known as E. coli, in a water source is an indication of the presence human or animal waste matter in the water. This bacteria is a type of fecal coliform bacteria found in the intestines of humans and animals. Drinking water that contains E. coli bacteria may cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headaches and nausea. Young children and elderly people may be more susceptible to the adverse effects of E. coli because their immune systems are delicate.

Polluted water is also a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Mosquito bites can affect human health and cause diseases, such as malaria and dengue.